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China Defends Deployment of Anti-Ship Missiles to South China Sea Island

Sam LaGrone

...While in open conflict, the fixed position of the islands would make the missiles easy targets but the weapons could have a coercive effect to China’s neighbors and U.S. operations in peacetime, Bryan Clark, naval analyst Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) and former special assistant to past Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, told USNI News on Wednesday. “In a conflict, the islands will be hard to defend, but their value is in curtailing U.S. peacetime operations and in the opening moves of a conflict when they can threaten U.S. forces with a surprise attack,” he said. “If the U.S. deployed similar forces to Palawan [in the Philippines], it could similarly impact [People‘s Liberation Army] operations.”

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